The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has said it will provide stakeholders support service, advisory services among others during the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) regime.
The Council also pledge to provide support for stakeholders, by providing cargo defence fund to shippers and trade groups to pursue their legitimate business/as a mark of preparation for the enhancement of Nigeria’s opportunities in the recently signed Trade Agreement.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello disclosed this at the two day national workshop on the role of Maritime in the AfCFTA Agreement recently held in Lagos.
The ES who was represented at the workshop by the Chief Operating Officer Trade Services, Adaora Nwain said that enhanced economic growth in the maritime industry under AfCFTA would not come automatically but through concerted steps.
According to the ES, growth can only come through enhancing industrial productive capacity: trade facilitation agreement by introducing customs management reforms, implementing the trade facilitation agreement.
In providing support for stakeholders, Bello said the Council would provide cargo defence fund to shippers and trade groups to pursue their legitimate business.
He added that supervision of the establishment of transport services such as inland dry port, truck transit parks, border information centre, port services support portal.
“Offer stakeholders advice on how to avoid pitfalls in their international trade.
“Continuously advise the Federal Government on AfCFTA and other policy formulation and implementation in respect of shipping interests.
“Regular consultation with cross border practitioners and regional bodies for trade facilitation; regular representation of stakeholders on regional and sub-regional fora.
“Continuously organise seminars/workshop to educate stakeholders on international best practice.
“Continuously conduct research for the benefit of stakeholders; post expansion project, cross border, Trade processes, roads, rail infrastructure development, sea link project, improved and sustained trade corridor management,” he said.
Speaking further, Bello averred that the trade agreement constituted the most significant development in Africa’s integration efforts.
He added that it is expected that the free trade area will promote the development of manufacturing and agro-processing and with them, accelerated inclusive economic diversification and competitiveness across Africa.
He however advised that private sector, civil society, development partners, media houses, financial institutions and the general public hands should be on deck for the success and for Nigeria to harness the presented opportunities.